strategic plan of the police of Santa Maria gives priority to the support, awareness and training of officers | Government and politics



The Santa Maria Police Department has finalized its first formalized strategic plan, outlining steps to improve officer support and training, increase community engagement, and implement modern policing strategies over the next two years. .

The plan was presented to the Santa Maria city council on Tuesday, but did not require any approval.

Police officials identified the plan as another part of the ministry’s commitment to improve transparency, community relations and staff retention.

“Since 2013… we have changed a lot of things in the department, from the policies and procedures to mainly the culture, including the chef [Ralph] Martin and chef [Phil] Hansen, “Chief Marc Schneider told city council on Tuesday.” Now looking to the future, we have created a strategic plan which is essentially a road map for our officers and sworn professional staff within the department, as well as the leadership of the city and our community. ”

Each of the three main priorities of the strategic plan is broken down into three objectives, which are then detailed with a list of action items.

As part of the priority of investing in people, the ministry has set goals, including promoting health and well-being, creating opportunities for professional growth and preparing for the future.

This includes creating a wellness committee by early 2022 to organize wellness resources, identifying areas of training needed for officers – as well as options for Spanish courses. basic – and intensified recruitment efforts.

When it comes to involving the community, the plan mentions general strategies for gathering more community feedback and scaling up community events organized by the department, as well as a timeline for completing critical trainings.

By the end of each calendar year through 2024, all public safety officers and dispatchers will have completed annual training in crisis response as well as defensive tactics and de-escalation, the plan says.

According to Schneider, the city’s de-escalation training will go “beyond” state requirements with more hours of training on an annual basis.

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“We just wanted to develop that and show that it’s something important to move forward, and really focus on de-escalation,” Schneider said.

Asked by City Councilor Gloria Soto about implicit bias training, he noted room for improvement, saying the pandemic has slowed the department’s schedule for in-person training on the subject.

“We have a handful of people who have already taken our implicit bias training, and in 2022 we will be trying to get the rest of the department through that as well,” he said.

The final section focused on modern policing strategies, outlining plans to establish city-wide report writing stations by January, deploy cycle patrol officers by July, and continue to identify areas where the department’s drones need to be.

The department also shared a new mission statement, “Committed to serving our community by improving public safety” and a new vision for the department in the form of the motto “Our Community… Your Police”.

City Councilor Mike Cordero, a retired lieutenant from Santa Maria, hailed framing the plan as a “road map,” noting that departments must be open to cultural change.

“It’s a great job; all we have to do now is get the men and women of the Santa Maria Police Department to go through the training and do this job, ”he said.

Paul Conor of Conor Consulting agreed, saying the ever-changing cultural environment around law enforcement was part of the basis of a shorter-term plan.

“One of the reasons the strategic plan is two years instead of three or five years is because society has changed so much, and the impact of social media and laws have made the industry public safety – both fire departments and police – much more responsive to what’s going on, ”Conor said.

The department’s strategic plan will be posted on the city’s website for consultation, but is currently accessible through the December 8 city council agenda at



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